G.A.D.D – Golf Attention Deficit Disorder – A disorder causing one to lose attention while golfing.  This usually results in restlessness and terrible play.  Often causing frustration among all golfers involved.  Signs and symptoms usually occur after bad play begins.  Signs include searching for lost balls and talking to oneself.  In extreme cases, club throwing and foul language may be witnessed.  This condition is essentially a result of one wishing a golf course consisted of 11-13 holes rather than 18.

It’s Not Just Golf

Whether you like golf or not, understand it or don’t, you can relate to this.  It may be your job, your family, a hobby or relationships.  Have you ever had something you engage in where halfway through you completely lose interest and focus?  Are you the type with numerous unfinished projects?  Are you easily distracted from your goals when things don’t go your way?  How do you respond to adversity?  In some area, I suppose you suffer from this.  Wherever you see golf below, please feel free to replace it with your particular area of struggle.

Did you know that in 2012 there were roughly 30 million golfers and the industry brought in about $25 BILLION dollars!  Golf is a very popular sport because you don’t need a team or a league, so a lot of people play. Additionally, the golf course is used as a social and business meeting place of sorts and there are a lot of charity tournaments. For me, I’ve always struggled with golf.  It is a very tough game and requires a LOT of practice and concentration.  Additionally, it usually takes between 3-5 hours to complete a round, depending on where you play. I’ve golfed with a lot of people over my career and witnessing GADD in person is downright hilarious.  For some, it’s like letting the rage monkey out of the cage! For me, I always became disengaged and ended up not caring.  What I found is that it was a TERRIBLE distraction for those around me that really cared about their game. Indulging in it was rude, caused me to I jeopardize my value system and my character.  Where is your character being jeopardized and do you even know?

Something Deeper

When I started thinking about this, I saw that this wasn’t just true for golf.  It manifested itself in my life through golf, but different areas for others.  Where do you see these symptoms in your life?  Anger, Frustration, Disinterest, Complacency.  Those symptoms are a result of something much deeper.  They were for me.  Seek those areas out and bring them not the light. Let’s break this down and see what we can learn.

1.  You’ve got the wrong thing – At some point in time, I had to understand that I wasn’t going to be a ‘golfer’.  I didn’t love the game enough in order to spend the time it took to be ‘good’.  You’ve got to recognize that at some point.  If it doesn’t ignite your passions, it’s one of two things:  You or Your perspective.  For me, I just had the wrong perspective.  I enjoyed golf for the camaraderie and a beautiful day outside (and the occasional good shot), but focused on the wrong things. If you’ve got the wrong thing, that’s ok, but BE CAREFUL; it’s easy to use the ‘that’s not for me line’ as the easy way out to something you NEED to be doing.

2.  Your expectations or perspective are out of whack – If you headed out every round to shoot better than that last, you’re setting yourself up for failure and frustration.  Now I’m all for goal setting. If you expect everyday of family life to be ‘easy’ or ‘better’ you’ve got it all wrong.  Now you don’t want to err on the opposite side; expecting awful so you’ll be satisfied with bad.  Just temper your expectations and your perspective. I believe 80% of all problems stem from expectations and how we respond.

3. You’re not enjoying the process – Maybe you’ve got your thing, but you expect Tiger Woods results immediately.  Listen, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning – these guys have spent THOUSANDS of hours perfecting their skills. The same holds true for successful businesses, successful marriages, successful families. Don’t fool yourself!  Know that it is a process and learn to enjoy it.  Learn to enjoy the struggles of a round as they move you in the direction of growth.

4.  You’re letting your past control your future – This one stings. One bad shot, one bad experience can send us spiraling out of control.  We let doubt, fear, anger and frustration take root in our heart because of one bad experience.  Nothing matters less than your last shot! You have the opportunity NOW to change and take your next shot.  See every shot, every opportunity as independent.  Stop letting your past control your future.

I had one of the most enjoyable rounds of golf yesterday with a good friend.  I didn’t play well and the course was moving slow, all things that USED to send me into GADD.  I no longer suffer from GADD because I recognize these few tips above.  It was a great round, with great conversation, experiencing God’s beautiful creation.

How can you apply these principles to an area of frustration or struggle in your life?


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